Second suspect accused of being an IRA member

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IN a separate court appearance in the Republic, a 44-year-old man was charged last Thursday with IRA membership over prison officer David Black’s murder.

Vincent Banks, of Smithfield Gate apartments in Dublin city centre, appeared before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin accused of withholding information between October 10 and Wednesday of last week in relation to Mr Black’s murder.

He was charged with IRA membership on December 18, the day he was arrested.

It is understood he is suspected of being a member of the Real IRA.

Detective Sergeant Marilyn Brosnan told the Dublin court that when Banks was charged at Ballymun Garda Station he replied: “Not at this time.”

She added that when he was later handed a copy of the charge sheet in the courts complex, he said: “I don’t believe so.”

Banks, who wore blue jeans and a white and blue striped polo shirt, sat with his arms folded during the hearing before standing briefly as the charges were put to him.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, remanded Banks in custody.

There was no objection to legal aid.

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old woman arrested with Banks in Dublin has been released without charge.